Conversation with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Tue Apr 05 2005 - 19:55:12 CDT

Hello All,

The following is from my Election Reform blog,

   I had a very interesting and productive talk with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Mike Haas, this afternoon. He had gotten my letter (included below) and was looking into some of the issues. I mentioned that I had a meeting tomorrow on these issues and he, even while driving, was willing to discuss some of the stuff at length.

  Highlights of our conversation was that he would like to bring back the Diebold TSX DRE voting machine in it's new incarnation. He noted that the machine had recently been recertified by Federal authorities and that it was undergoing recertification at the State level. These machines apparently have an add on VVPAT module that generates ballots under glass. We discussed issues of voter privacy and it was a little hard for him to follow that the order of voters could possibly be reconstructed from the order of ballots. He seemed to think it was unlikely. I decided to not press the issue at this time.

  I asked about the voting machine as 'black box' software issue and he told me that at least code escrow was going to be involved. He is aware of the concept of open software but noted that no currently available machines had such. He mentioned that Diebold must meet three goals to get the County to pay for the TSX machines.

  1. The machines had to be certified by the state
  2. They had to be ready by sometime in 2007
  3. They have to perform satisfactorily during the 2008 election.

  Until all three goals are met, Diebold doesn't get any money and has to provide ballots and optical ballot scanners. He mentioned that Diebold was using a method of video testing of people following pre-programmed voting scripts and that output from the machines was compared with what was seen in the videos. He also said that the results had been quite positive. I decided to discuss the issue of Trojan horses and such with him at another time.

  I told him that I was delighted to talk to him but warning him that there could be substantial political heat when the Diebold TSX is reintroduced. Also, in response to my invitation, he said that he could be available for meetings with local election reform groups.


As a side note to OVC/US votes, I think he would be happy to fill in one of the questionnaires. I'd be happy to facilitate.

To local San Diego Election Reform advocates, he seems like a nice guy. Also, what I understood was that any special elections between now and 2007 would be done using the same optical scan ballot technology that we used in the November, 2004 general election.

Thanks, Edmund R. Kennedy
Always work for the common good.
10777 Bendigo Cove
San Diego, CA 92126-2510
I blog now and then at: <>

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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:02 2005

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